12 February 2011

Algeria

Several thousand anti-government protesters marched in Algiers today, despite an official ban on demonstrations and a massive police presence which blocked most from the city's central square. Al-Jazeera has a live-blog. As yet the movement is not on a large enough scale to threaten the regime, but time will tell if it grows; Algeria had seen substantial unrest even before Tunisia erupted.

4 Comments:

Blogger Green Eagle said...

Unlike Egypt, whose Muslim Brotherhood is on the peaceful end of the spectrum of Islamist groups (a relative thing, I know, but still...) Algeria has, over the last couple of decades, been subject to Islamist violence in which tens of thousands have been killed, with much vicious behavior on both sides. And in some ways Algeria has never really been politically stable since their struggle for freedom against France.

This is a considerably more volatile situation than exised in Egypt or Tunisia, and one far more likely to see instability turn really ugly. As much as I am very happy about what has happened in Egypt and Tunisia (so far) I am very concerned with what might be coming if Algeria descends into chaos.

12 February, 2011 19:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Good point. Every country has somewhat different circumstances. Still, it's hard to see what the alternative is -- leave the likes of Bouteflika in charge forever? Even in Tunisia and Egypt, the risk of falling prey to another dictatorship was not, and for that matter is not yet, zero.

13 February, 2011 01:31  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

You're absolutely right- it's so easy to see any outcome in Algeria turning into a disaster for the Algerian people. Of course, the same thing could happen in Egypt, although it's not as likely, and as frightening as it is to admit it, there are groups in this country who are taken seriously by the "serious" people, who may bring us to a horrendous end too, if they get their hands on the government. You couldn't have said that a couple of decades ago, but we are sure living in strange times.

13 February, 2011 23:34  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Actually my point was that no uprising in an Arab country is without risk -- but given the kind of regimes they currently have, the risk is worth taking.

14 February, 2011 04:59  

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